I stand convicted by the Holy Spirit by means of Bloomington City Councilman Stephen Volan.
Yesterday, I planned to go to the City Council meeting. On the agenda was the allocation of funds to Social Service agencies who have requested funds from the city. Planned Parenthood was on that list. I planned to go, but I did not plan to speak. Then I went to teampyro.blogspot.com to check out their links to their merchandise on Cafepress.com (I tell you all of this because it is the way God takes me where He takes me; I did this to find that but I found what God wanted me to find instead) because I was checking it out for my daughter who wants to merchandise her Crabsterware. One of the Pyromaniacs, James Spurgeon, posts clips from C.H. Spurgeon's sermons periodically. This one, "Turn or Burn" http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0106.htm completely captivated me.
I became convinced, through the recent Sunday School lessons and Ptr. Currell's sermon about wielding the Sword on 6/4/06 (http://site.shepherdchurch.com/app/w_page.php?id=21&type=section), and my restlessness at Planned Parenthood, and reading this Spurgeon sermon before everyone else arrived at City Hall, that I may be there to call the council and Bloomington, America and us to repentance. Also I heard a brother behind me say that it would be good for more people to come forward to speak if only to say that they opposed the using of public funds to fund Planned Parenthood.
So I sat in the City Council meeting last night, my face flushed, my heart pounding in my ears; I may have been sweating, I don't know. I rehearsed many senarios in my head, remembering from time to time that Jesus told His disciples not to plan what they say when they came before the authorities.
As an intern gave a report on the research he did into the history of the Bloomington City Council, I thought about defending myself, "I realize that I appear to be a fool to you... but I'm not." (when they take you before the council, do not worry about what you will say...) As someone did a report compiled by an intern about properties that are petitioning to continue their tax abatements, I thought about flattering the council, "I can see that you are wise and concerned about the plight of the needy." (...do not worry about what you will say for the Spirit will teach you what you are to say at that time.)
Finally they got to the issue of concern. They went through the list of organizations that the committee had decided to present to the council for approval. Then they asked for public comment. I heard Scott Tibbs go forward to speak. Scott often attends and speaks at council meetings. He seemed very at ease, speaking. Then David Canfield spoke. He also spoke well, if not as comfortably as Scott. David Talcott, who must be used to speaking in front of groups while teaching at IU, spoke also. He was calm and quiet and had a well-thought out presentation. Carole Canfield also spoke at the podium. She expressed her disagreement with funding an organization that kills children and that although Bloomington is safe and civil, it is not on Thursday mornings for children in their mother's wombs.
At some point in there, a woman unknow to me came forward to speak. She indicated that she came to Bloomington as a student and stayed. She applauded Planned Parenthood for their contribution to this community and how they help women in distress.
The council asked if there were any other comments. I had decided, sort of (it may have been a ploy to delay the decision), that if I were to call people to repentance, it ought to be after the deed was done (I think I am wrong).
Then the council members made their comments. Some of them were thought provoking and provided material for rebuttal. One mentioned back alley abortions in the same tone that my mother in law does. One said that although this council does not have the power to fix the wrongs of this community/world, (God does...nope) these organizations can fix them. One of them said that Planned Parenthood was not the only controversial organization on the list, and that there was one that helped people get off drugs that was equally controversial (??). Stephen Volan, not once, but two separate times, said (was he looking right at me the second time?) that it is everyone's responsibility to come forward and speak at these events.
Then they voted. It was unanimous. All the petitioning organizations were approved.
Then I thought I would raise my hand and ask to speak. The the head guy started to speak about the next issue on the docket and still I thought I would speak; and then all of my brothers and sisters started to get up and leave. And ... still... I thought I would...speak up...
Then I got up and left too.
Hear the Word of the Lord from Ezekiel, and tremble:
Ezekiel 33:7-9 (ESV)
"So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.